On Discord, my blog, and Facebook we’ve had brilliant champions correctly guess what fairy tale Hall of Blood and Mercy is based on, so I decided to confirm! It’s…
Yes, Donkeyskin–a tale that is equal parts icky and charming.
Not gonna lie to you, Champions, when you first started asking for a retelling of this one roughly two years ago, I wasn’t going to touch it with a ten-foot-pole due to some of the content in the original story. (The dead giveaway is the icky-ness that is the Father deciding to marry his daughter.) But the more I chewed it over, the more I thought I could change up the icky parts a bit and have a whole lot of fun with the story if I really explored the relationship between the princess and the prince, and how it evolved as a result of the plot.
Rather that go into detail here, in a future post I’m going to take an in depth look at the original story–so ya’ll can see why I didn’t want to plunk it down in my Timeless Fairy Tales world, ugh.
I did change the story a lot–as you know from the description both of Hazel’s parents are dead. But what didn’t fit in the description is that the wizard who betrays her initially tries to blackmail her into marrying him, which is why she runs, just as the heroine from the original Donkeyskin tale runs from an unwanted marriage.
It’s been so much fun revealing bits and pieces of this series. I had a great time–though I know some of you would say all the teasing was awful, hahah. (Going over the Donkeyskin fairytale will be a lot of…’fun.’ I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of that in a future post!) Next week I have some really big news about the book/series that will (hopefully) blow you away! 😉 So stay tuned!
While this is exciting and I am sure will be just as good as all of your other books….
I really want the next Second Age Of Retha!! When are we going to get the next one in that series?
hey so this has nothing to do with magic forged but I was thinking what if enchantress primrose is the mole because she is also quite motherly in nature and when Evariste suggested taking angelique as an apprentice her reaction was as if he had ruined her whole plan, when angelique was called to conclave for performing magic in carabas he at first defended angelique but then by speaking her thoughts aloud put her in trouble again. That defending may just be an act. Just a theory
This is completely unrelated to the new book, but what about in the fairytale enchantress series -plot twist- Angelique doesn’t fall in love with Evariste at all? She mentioned she’s not interested in romance after all.
Do you wish for it to happen?
I’m not sure, depends on how the story plays out!
Merie E. Shen says
I thiiiiiiink I’ve read this fairytale… Is it also known as “Allerluiah” (or however it’s spelled)? Because I know the fairytale Deerskin is based on; just don’t know it as “Donkeyskin.” xD
What I would like to know is, how many books will this story line be, or will it be a stand-alone single like Princess Ahira? I had never heard of Donkeyskin before your reveal. After skimming the synopsis, I’m looking forward to acquainting myself with this story through your eyes, Kitty. Thanks for this gift.
Yeah, donkey skin isn’t my favorite, although there are a surprising amount of variations on it. Like Cap O’ Rushes, Coat of many furs and the like. (With my favorite versions the ones where her father isn’t such a creeper, even if he’s still a pretty bad father as parenting standards go, But can I say my favorite part generally are the dresses? I’m a sucker for a gorgeous dress, so I loved the fact she tries to put him off by trying to ask for impossible garments Like a dress made from sunbeams, one made from the moon and one made from the stars. (I’ve read different versions where the last one varies a little, like I think there was a version where it was supposed to be made out of clouds or something. but generally the sun and moon dresses are staples.) And then she asks for the Donkey skin, or a coat made up of furs of all the animals.
But I totally agree with you skipping the first part of the story is a good plan. Picking up where she flees the palace, is much better. Looking forward to your take on the tale.
I also originally read donkeyskin as a different version, it was a lot less creepy that way! You have to admit the mother is pretty weird in the fairy tale, asking him not to marry again unless she was as beautiful as his first wife…
Yeah. People kinda forget that because of the father but that is totally weird too.
I have never heard its name so I am really excited to try it but next month, unfortunately my boards are starting so I will have to wait . But I know it will be worth the wait
Same here! I won’t be able to read it until after 3 May.
My exams are starting in March lol
The version of donkeyskin that I first read wasn’t about the father marrying the princess at all but rather marrying her to an old cruel king, hence her running away. It was years later that I found out about “this” one. Ignorance truly is bliss! But if any author can get over it, it is you. BTW when do you think the hero poll would be?
I want to say “yay! we found out the story is based fo Donkeyskin!”, but at the same time, I’m thinking. “Ooooh boy. Its based off Donkeyskin. Eep.” But I know that you will make the story amazing and the characters so lovable like all your other books tho, Kitty!
I haven’t ever heard of Donkeyskin, so I am excited to read your take on it! Do you recommend reading the original beforehand or is it icky enough to pass on?
Sarah H says
I had never read the story before last night and it is demented. However, I read a plot summary from Wikapedia so it wasn’t too bad. The story ends well – but the beginning certainly falls into the creepy category.
Meagan C. says
I have never read the original, but Robin McKinley has a retelling, called Deerskin, that as far as I know is pretty true to it. It is very well-written and I think it deals with the subject pretty well. It is graphic, and deals graphically with some (as Sarah said so well) demented issues, so definitely not something to read if you aren’t comfortable with the subject. I do think McKinley does a good job of addressing the importance of healing after demented, traumatic experiences, and giving hope that such healing is possible. I read it once and will probably never read again; there are parts I absolutely recommend skipping, but I’m not sorry I read it the one time.
I am very much looking forward to Kitty’s take on this story. I’m so glad to hear you are removing the ickiness, Kitty!
I’ll be going over the original in a week or two, so we can be weirded out together! But if you want to see the fairy tale aspects it is probably important to check it out, I had to bury some of it to keep the story more realistic…and to achieve the sense of humor that I wanted! 😉
Oh, but Meagan is right! I actually first learned about this story from Robin McKinley’s Deerskin. It’s been ages since I’ve read it, but as I recall she handled the graphic part of the story that was true, with delicacy. It’s not something I would choose to write (or, again, as Meagan said, read frequently) so I’m skipping on that entire…problem, for the most part.